West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has hit out at the continued and blatant privatisation of the National Health Service, with previously free treatments now being charged for, directly by the NHS.
Routine treatments such as cataract surgery and hip replacements are now considered as procedures of low clinical value and are being charged for at a local hospital trust.
Warrington and Halton Hospitals Trust have a list of treatments they now charge for under their ‘My Choice’ programme.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, who is also a member of Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee, said:
“I have consistently opposed the privatisation of the NHS, but this latest horrific news shows just how ‘normal’ it has become that a hospital and its Board think this is acceptable to taxpayers. They should hang their heads in shame!
“In West Lancashire, the CCG farmed out contracts to the private provider Virgin Care, and nearby at Warrington and Halton the NHS Hospital Trust itself is now charging for treatments including cataract and hip replacements.
“The Trust has a list of procedures they’re charging for, with hip and knee replacements costing over £7,000. This is the galloping privatisation of the NHS under the Tories continuing. The outrageous message this NHS Trust is sending is ‘Can’t afford it – we don’t care if you’re in pain or can’t see!’
“This is a deeply worrying trend with the Chief Executive of Warrington and Halton also the STP Lead there who is spearheading hospital services in our area. She should resign her STP position as we don’t need a privatiser pushing the future changes in this area!
“I have written to the Health Secretary asking him to explain why cataracts, replacement hips and knees have become procedures of low value when they make a huge difference to the lives and wellbeing of sufferers. What’s next, will we need to take our credit cards with us every time we visit hospital. He needs to be clear about this now.
“I’ve also written to the Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals, as well as the CCG and STP Chiefs to ensure they don’t have similar plans for West Lancashire.”